Five flawed talking points about the government shutdown

Just because statements about government shutdown are repeated often, that doesn't necessarily make them true.
Photo: AP

SAN DIEGO, October, 11, 2013 — The drama of a government shut down rages on. American citizens have mixed feelings. Some are absolutely delighted at the prospect of less government. Others have been sharply awakened. They are reminded about many of the good services often taken for granted, yet provided for by government funds. Honorable funeral services for the families of fallen military heroes is one important example. War memorials are another.

While faults can certainly be found with both political parties caught in this apparent stale mate, defense for the Tea Party wing of the Republican Congress is microscopic in the main stream media. For this reason, it may be fitting to offer another side to the story and evaluate some of the popular, repetitive talking points from Democratic politicians and media pundits who supply their cheerleading section.

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1) “Republicans should stop fighting the Affordable Health Care Act because it’s the law of the land.”

This is an astounding talking point. Since when have Democrats believed that any law is above being challenged? There was a time when abortion was illegal. Is there even one Pro-Choice person who feels that Roe V Wade should never have inspired a new law? After all, prior to 1973, federal “law of the land” demanded obedience to each individual state regarding its own abortion legislation.

Or how about a moral example that Democrats and Republicans will both affirm? There was a time when slavery was the law of the land in many states. Should our Constitution have never been amended to abolish this shameful, evil practice?

Bad laws get repealed all the time. In any event, when President Obama offers exemptions to this “law of the land” for some, but not others, legality stands on its head! Are we to believe that the President is allowed to single-handedly re-tweak Affordable Health Care all the while chiding Congress for the audacity to make their own changes? How stupid does he think our country is? Never mind. He knows he got elected twice.

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2) “In the midst of this political battle, President Obama has taken pains to tone down the heated rhetoric.”

No, President Obama just likes to CLAIM that he tones down rhetoric.

In a recent interview with NBC News, he said, “During the course of my presidency I have… purposely kept my rhetoric down.”

Was his rhetoric kept down during a recent White House briefing room meeting? Obama used that occasion to say America’s financial crisis will be over “when Republicans realize they don’t get to hold the entire economy hostage over ideological demands.”

The designation, “hostage taker” seems to fall a bit short of toned down rhetoric. But perhaps it wasn’t as bad as his other description of Republicans: “Reckless and irresponsible.”

Obama’s culpability is not limited to his own mouth. As President, he is also responsible to reign in remarks from his surrogates.

Obama saw no need to muzzle his top media adviser Dan Pfeiffer, who said on CNN “What we’re not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest.”

And why did our “toned down” President not rebuke Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for describing the Republicans as “anarchists”? Hint: It wasn’t because he was busy offering a stern admonition to House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi for calling her opposing party “legislative arsonists.”

3) “Republicans alone are responsible for shutting down the government.”

Let’s examine this brilliant slice of logic: Supposedly, when Republicans refuse to approve a new budget unless the Affordable Health Care Act is defunded or at least delayed, they ALONE are responsible for shutting down our government. But when President Obama refuses to sign any bill allowing the budget to go forth unless it includes Affordable Care, he, of course, is NOT responsible for shutting down the government.

Such reasoning could only make sense to Obama groupies who believe their Messiah must be trusted without question.

4) “Republicans will damage their reputation if they don’t give in.”

How can their reputation possibly be damaged more than it already has? What could House members possibly say or do to incur designations worse than “arsonists” “hostage takers” “anarchists” or “people who strap on bombs?”

The idea that President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid or the main stream media will start saying nice things about Republicans if they would only “work in a bi-partisan way” rivals the most bizarre episode of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone.

True, Congress collectively is quite low in overall approval ratings but individual Congressmen are representing their constituents. They may just return to their home districts and find one or two appreciative people who plan to vote them in for another term.

Speaking of Republican popularity, it’s time to wrap this discussion up by examining the most inaccurate statement of all:

5) “Only Obama and the Democrats are working for the American people. Tea Party Republicans are working for themselves.”

Many Tea Party Republicans ran on the promise of doing everything they could to defund and/or repeal Obama Care. What we are actually observing lately is that rarity or rarities, politicians who actually try to keep their campaign promises.

Contrast this to American citizens being denied access to a World War Two memorial while Nancy Pelosi is close by speaking at a gathering of illegal immigrants on the same national mall. A memorial once free to the public, now has a fence and security guards, guards who obviously are being paid something from government funds.

Since our government “shut down” is really only a partial shut down and since discretion can be used in the prioritization of funds, one wonders how much Obama is choosing to inflict suffering in exchange for the political points of making Republicans look bad.

Such a question became especially relevant when White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked by Fox News correspondent Ed Henry exactly when President Obama heard that families were being denied funeral funds for their sons and daughters who died serving our country.  Carney was unable to answer.

Although that problem has since been solved, it seems that public disgust had a lot to do with the solution. Obama was caught with egg on his face.

It’s time to take a second look at the conventional wisdom that Democrats alone “care about the American people.”

The is Bob Siegel making the obvious, obvious..

NBC News, ABC News, CNN, The Washington Times, and The Daily Caller contributed to the news portions of this article.

Bob Siegel is a radio talk show host and columnist. Information about his radio show can be found at



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Bob Siegel

A graduate of Denver Seminary and San Jose State University, Bob Siegel is a radio talk show host and popular guest speaker at churches and college campuses across the country, using a variety of media including, seminars, formal debates, outdoor open forums, and one man drama presentations.

In addition to his own weekly radio show (KCBQ 1170, San Diego) Bob has been a guest on many other programs, including The 700 Club, Washington Times Radio's Inside the Story, The Rick Amato Show, KUSI Television's Good Morning San Diego, and the world popular Jonathan Park radio drama series, for which Bob guest starred in two episodes and wrote one episode, The Clue From Ninevah.

Bob is a regular contributor for San Diego Newsroom and San Diego Rostra. Bob does a good deal of playwriting as well (14 plays & 5 collaborations), including the award winning, Eternal Reach.  Bob has also published two books;  A Call To Radical Discipleship, and I'd Like to Believe In Jesus, But...

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